ETATS UNIS - Etiquetage condamnée

ETIQUETAGE - La Food and Drug Administration (FDA) non seulement rejette l’étiquetage des OGM mais a écrit à 6 groupes agroalimentaires qui mentionnaient “sans OGM” sur leur produit pour dénoncer la confusion que ce label pouvait engendrer. En l’absence de réelle réglementation aux Etats-Unis, ces lettres servent surtout à intimider ces entreprises.

CSPI Press Release

August 14, 2001

CSPI Urges FDA to Halt Misleading ‘Non-genetically Engineered’
Food-label Claims

(Washington) The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) today
asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take enforcement
action against seven food manufacturers whose product labels deceive
consumers with false or misleading claims about the absence of
genetically engineered (GE) ingredients.

CSPI’s complaint concerns Polaner’s All Fruit Spreads, Earth’s Best Baby
Foods, Healthy Times Oatmeal with Banana Cereal, Van’s Organic Waffles,
Spectrum Canola Oil, Bearitos Tortilla Chips, and Erewhon Wheat Flakes.
CSPI is not concerned about the quality or safety of the products, but
charges that their labels violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic
Act and FDA’s guidance about labeling foods for GE content. Some
examples include :

Earth’s Best Apples and Apricots baby food implies that it is superior
to competing, similar products by stating at least seven different times
on the package that it contains “NO GMO’s” (genetically modified
organisms). Although technically accurate, that claim is misleading
because no baby food contains “organisms,” and no brand of apples and
apricot baby foods, not just Earth’s Best, contains GE ingredients.

Erewhon Wheat Flakes implies that it is superior to competing products
by stating that it is “100% Natural”and does not contain “Genetically
Engineered Ingredients.” In fact, no GE wheat is present in any food.

Polaner’s All Fruit Strawberry states that it is “NOW GMO FREE,” yet
this jam-like product made primarily with strawberries and fruit juices
does not, and never did, contain “organisms.“

“Consumers want information about GE ingredients in their foods, but
that information should be presented in an accurate and non-disparaging
manner,” said Gregory Jaffe, co-director of CSPI’s Biotechnology
Project. “These labels bear false or misleading statements such as ‘No
GMO’s’ that take unfair advantage of consumer concerns and lack of
knowledge about GE crops. The labels imply that the absence of GE
ingredients makes the products superior, when that is not the case.”
FDA, the American Medical Association, and many other health
organizations have determined that GE crops are as safe to eat as
traditionally bred crops. In fact, traditionally bred crops may be
treated with more pesticides, or more dangerous pesticides than their
bioengineered counterparts.

“Although CSPI favors labeling of GE ingredients, these seven products
show that manufacturers are taking advantage of consumers with false and
misleading label statements,” added Jaffe.

CSPI recently conducted a national opinion poll that found that labels
stating “GE”or “non-GE” would influence many consumers’ perceptions and
preferences. About 31% of consumers said that products labeled GE were
not as safe as non-GE foods. A similar percentage said that foods
labeled “does not contain genetically engineered ingredients” were
better than unlabeled foods. Only about 10% said that the GE-labeled
product was safer or better. (33% to 42% said that GE and non-GE foods
were just as safe or good).

Given many consumers’ innate skepticism of any new technology, CSPI said
that manufacturers must be careful not to mislead consumers. “FDA needs
to send a clear message to manufacturers that label statements need to
be both accurate and not imply superiority,” added Jaffe. Anticipating
the day when biotechnology is used to provide consumer benefits, CSPI’s
letter also urged the FDA to guard against deceptive claims about such
benefits. “The FDA should nip this growing problem in the bud.”

Communiqué de presse du CSPI, 14 août 2001